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Friday, January 22, 2010

Nic Bishop's Butterflies and Moths, written and with photographs by Nic Bishop. Scholastic, 2009. $19.99 ages 8 and up

"A creature so beautiful should belong in a fairy tale. But butterflies are real. They dance through the woods and glide over fields. You can see them in parks and backyards. And they always catch your attention."

Oh, that Nic Bishop! He never ceases to amaze with his outstanding attention to detail in nonfiction reading for the young. He is dedicated to his craft and has garnered amazing knowledge in his own searches for information to share with his audience. If you have been fortunate enough to see his other books, you will recognize the elements of this worthwhile work. The text is accessible and the presentation is familiar. He includes basic details such as habitat, migration, food, and life cycle. He adds those characteristics that make butterflies and moths unique, and gives space to metamorphosis and camouflage.

For me it is always the brilliant, and often breathtaking, photographs that give a close-up look at the real beauty of the species. He uses professional techniques to allow his readers perspective and authenticity. His afterwords give us a glimpse at the dedication that makes him a master of the genre. He waited long years and took a quickly arranged trip to Costa Rica to photograph a rare caterpillar with special abilities. There is rich information here and the images are glorious, with captions that offer explanation for the photos taken.

The afterword is always fascinating, an index and glossary are helpful and the sense of awe this book inspires is so worth your time and attention. Check out any book that has Nic Bishop's name on it. You will not be disappointed!

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